Pedal Harp HELP

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    David Blauw

    Hello Harp Column! Before I begin let me clarify that I do NOT play harp. My teenage daughter is learning harp and really enjoys it. I am an engineer, my wife a pianist, we love music, but are new to Harps. My daughter’s teacher recommends that she begin to look into a pedal harp do to her height and her ability, and her teacher really likes L&H. I have read a number of threads both here and elsewhere on the net and have questions that I hope someone can either answer or at least provide some direction. 1. In all of the postings I have read discussions of different harp makers seems to turn ugly quite quickly. I understand that the purchase of a harp, and enjoyment there of is personal, but I have to believe (as an engineer) that there are some advantages of maker x over maker y and vice versa. For instance I live in a cold dry climate in the winter and a Humid climate in the summer is there one brand that holds up better than another to temperature? This can be valuable information (realizing that everyone produces lemons every once in a while). So my question is: what are the advantages/disadvantage of Salvi, L&H, Venus, and Camac? 2. If there are issues that arise with a harp (mechanical in nature), do they more often than not occur within the first 5 years (warranty period on many new harps)? We have visited L&H and Venus, and both appear to be good instruments, but remember we are an engineer, pianist and teenager, we based our judgments on tone, balance, even looks and weight, not on the construction or quality because we are not there yet. Any help to get us to that level is appreciated!!! Thanks in advance!

    David Blauw

    Hello Harp Column!


    Remember that all the answers you’ll get here are strictly personal opinions. I used to be prejudiced toward one brand when I was young (and based on my teacher’s prejudice, too), but hope I’ve gotten past that in 30+ years.

    All the companies you mentioned make fine instruments as far as quality and construction. Little details may differ between any company’s high-end and low-end products, but it’s usually superficial stuff like finish.

    Given that no two harps are exactly the same (even the same model built at the same time–just like people), you have to decide what kind of sound you want and how much you’re willing to pay (new, used?).

    I have never heard that any one brand is more or less affected by weather than any other. All harps are affected by weather. Not usually a problem if you take good care of it.

    If weight is a factor, you can compare that on the companies’ websites. Most instrument problems I’ve heard of usually occur after many years of use and are not unexpected. For the occasional early problem, you have the warranty.

    I’ve played and heard a lot of harps and read reams about them, and I’ve never, ever heard that one brand is “better” overall than another. Within the parameters any buyer decides are most important to him or her, it’s all subjective.


    I’m no expert, but would like to present you with another area to consider when selecting a harp —


    If you respect the teacher, you should act accordingly, I think.


    I don’t play pedal harp, but I understand that Camacs are easier to play in the very highest octave, for what that’s worth. (More room to maneuver.)

    Philippa mcauliffe

    One parent to another here;

    Back your own judgement.

    There are a lot of L+Hs in the USA.


    Harps are in a large part made of wood.


    You/your daughter have to get the one that speaks to you.


    What part of the country are you in, David?

    Kind regards,


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